Ian Maxwell Bruce was born on the 31st of July, 1944. He was born Deaf and had a twin who was hearing. His story follows him down to Tasmania, where at the age of 5 he moved with his family and attended the Hobart Deaf School.
In 1960 he gained an apprenticeship with the company High Class Furniture. He entered an apprenticeship competition in 1964 with 46 other applicants. Of the 47, Ian and four others won bursaries. His apprenticeship award was a bursary of 75 pounds. Out of those 47 applicants, Ian was the only one who was Deaf.
He went on with the help of his father, an engineer to build seven small sailing yachts, working as a team sharing their tools and skills. Ian crewed one of the yachts, “L’hirondelle’ which won both a race and the award for the most beautiful boat.
Over his working career he has built many fine pieces of furniture. The picture above shows Ian working on a jewellery box, hand making the pins and sockets for the dovetail joints for the boxes. Making jewellery boxes is one of Ian’s hobbies.
Some of Ian’s boxes he has hand carved and others he inlays with beautiful banding and handmade stars. Some of the woods he uses includes Cedar, Hoop Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Tasmanian Blackwood, Huon Pine and Beechwood.
Thank you Ian for sharing your story.
930 Gympie Road,
Phone: 1800 24 69 45